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UTA officials travel the world at cost of more than $600,000
Transit » In a year and a half, the authority spent $610,000 on global expeditions.

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Hughes explains that Allegra, as the then-No. 2 to Inglish in 2010, was being offered jobs by other transit agencies. The board did not want to lose his experience at a time that Inglish, then age 64, was nearing retirement.

Hughes says it decided to elevate Allegra to general manager to keep him. Inglish’s contract as general manager allowed him to draw two years’ salary as severance.

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Instead, he agreed to take a newly created advisory position of CEO for two years — mostly to represent the agency at many international groups and conferences.

"We saw a value there versus a hard stop in his service," Hughes says. "It was a way for him to bring value over those two years when he wasn’t general manager and really freed his time up."

Allegra also serves on a host of boards and committees, requiring travel that increased as Inglish neared retirement.

"It’s for funding, for relationships, for networking," he says.

These trips are work — not junkets, Allegra says.

"I try to keep trips as short as possible. I just want to be back here with my family and at work. When I go, I go as quickly as I can and come back."

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